Roll up for Welsh questions
For once, PMQs is not the main attraction on a Wednesday. The hot ticket today is Welsh Questions where Peter Hain faces the House for the first time since his latest funding troubles hit the headlines. Westminster watchers are intrigued to see how, Hain who is not beloved by his fellow MPs, is treated by his colleagues on the Labour side. Things have not got any easier for Hain with the Prime Minister’s intervention to describe Hain’s funding errors as “an incompetence.”
A National Insurance number is a turnkey. Once you've got one you can find legal employment, you can access a whole raft of state welfare benefits, and you can "prove" who you are. So you'd expect the government to take the utmost care over dishing them out. Well, no. You wouldn't really expect that because you know the government is totally incapable of taking the utmost care over anything.
Brown will regret calling Hain incompetent
US President Lyndon Johnson was a masterful political manipulator. Those of you interested in the pursuit of power should read Robert Caro's masterful biography of LBJ, spread over three volumes. It makes Machiavelli's The Prince look like an Enid Blyton story.
The Real Reason Why Hain's Finished
Peter Hain's problem today is much the same as it was during the deputy leadership contest. Few people in the Labour Party really like him. This has become all to apparent in the last few days as several Labour MPs have called for him to go. On Friday it was Peter Kilfoyle, yesterday it was John Spellar. Today it is Ian Gibson.
This story may still have some mileage left in it
It is interesting that whilst the media seem hell bent on securing Peter Hain's resignation, and Conservative backbenchers and the Tory blogging puppets howl for his head on a platter, and Labour backbenchers seem reluctant to rush to Hain's defence... there seems to be little enthusiasm for the call amongst the leadership of Her Majesty's so-called official opposition. They appear to have confined there remarks pretty much along the same lines as Gordon Brown.... if the inquiries find Hain guilty, then he may well have to go.
Iain Dale: Will Never Get a Conviction Out of Peter Hain!
Sad to say Iain Dale is again barking up the wrong damned tree. He will never get a conviction out of Peter Hain. The Electoral Commission are bound to refer matters to the police if they think there is a reasonable chance (who knows what the test for that would be) of some illegality worthy of a £5000 fine or a suspension. So they've a choice to make.
What Would Nationalisation Mean?
When Northern Rock is nationalised (I say when because "if" seems implausible), the immediate political fallout will be our immediate concern. So before we get caught up in the anticipated finger pointing and recrimination, it is worth considering what the future implications for Northern Rock are.
Don't bank on it
The government has nationalised Northern Rock's liabilities but not its assets. Will the taxpayers' risks be rewarded?
Brown insults public sector workers....getting the message yet?
Despite inflation currently at 4% (using the retail price index) the Government has once again insulted public sector workers with a pay cut.
Those who might still think that a National identity database is a good idea, despite the Government's inability to keep secure the data it already holds, may be given cause to think again by this article. The Times reports that the FBI is enlisting British law enforcement agencies to set up an international database containing the biometric details of thousands of people. The paper says that the programme, known as Server in the Sky, could result in an unprecedented transatlantic exchange of personal information. Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints could be exchanged.
A Parcel of Rogues
Wendy Alexander, Annabel Goldie and Nicol Stephen, the respective leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties at Holyrood, are meeting at Westminster today to consult with their London-based parties on how to undermine the SNP Scottish government. Its highly successful rule in Scotland since Labour lost the last Scottish elections has led to repeated defeats of the Labour regime's Westminster policies - the latest being the prevention of the siting of nuclear power stations anywhere in Scotland.
The cost of reviewing MPs' salaries
Now I know that MPs salaries are a hot topic, and I know that many people will think "low life, good for nothing scumbags, why should they get so much money?". To be fair, in many cases you would of course be right.
Big trouble for Tories over donations
The Conservatives really are having an unfortunate time with donations/declarations and the like. First there was news of Cameron breaking fundraising rules. Then there was a donation to Cameron's constituency association in Witney which shouldn't have been accepted.
Conservatives admit breaking the law over David Cameron’s free flight
As Newsnight has reported, the Conservatives have admitted failing to declare to the Electoral Commission a free flight David Cameron received in 2005. Edward Llewellyn, his Chief of Staff, wrote to the Commission stating that:
Can the Tories be trusted on the economy if they offer no solutions ?
The Northern Rock's problems, and those of the Treasury, and by proxy taxpayers, continue to rumble, and with each new day the looming fear of nationalisation being the only way taxpayers will get their money, in the long term, looks more inevitable.